Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.